The group formerly known as “children” today is a large, thriving “Consumer Market” to advertisers.
Parents teach children to be independent; TV commercials teach children to be demanding. Companies today are cashing in on what Susan Linn calls the “Nag Factor”(The degree to which parents' purchasing decisions are based on being nagged by their children). Companies are successful in projecting their expensive toys, sugar pumped cereals, chocolate coated fries and video games as the must haves. Parents have to constantly become the “Villains” while a child grows up and have to say “No” to most of their children’s demands.
Consumer Socialization Of Children The aspect of childhood socialization that is particularly relevant to the study of consumer behavior is consumer socialization, which is defined as: The process by which children acquire the skills, knowledge, attitudes and experiences necessary to function as consumers. Many preadolescent children acquire their consumer behavior norms by observing their elders.
Shared Shopping Experiences Shared shopping experiences (i.e., coshopping- when mother an child shop together) also give children the opportunity to acquire in-store shopping skills. Coshopping is a way of spending time with one’s children while at the same time accomplishing a necessary task. Consumer socialization also serves as a tool by which parents influence other aspects of the socialization process. For instance, parents frequently use the process or reward of material goods as a device to modify or control a child’s behavior. A mother may reward her child with a gift when the child does something to please her, or she may withhold or remove it when the child disobeys.
Mother as a Socialization Agent A socialization agent is a person or organization involved in the socialization process “because of frequency of contact with the individual and control over the rewards and punishments given to the individual.” Mothers are generally considered to be stronger consumer socialization agents than their husbands, because they tend to be more involved with their children, and are more likely to mediate their children’s exposure to commercial messages.
MARKETING RECEPTIVE The Balancer She has figured it how to have it all- career, marriage, and family. The Nurturer Completely focused on her family and often sacrifices her own desires to meet the wants of her children. The Diva She is self-focused and seeks acceptance and attention from others- she is a conspicuous consumer. MARKETING RESISTANT The Protector Highest income and level of education of all mom segments. The Struggler Her financial situation does not permit her to be as indulgent with her children as she would like. The Stoic Often culturally or socially isolated, she values her privacy. She views her role as a caretaker and homemaker. Distinct Segments of Mothers